BY: CAROLINE ROLF
The base of the squash is a little too round and the sweet potato has a root twice its length – these veggies don’t even come close to matching our standards of beauty. Despite the fact that these pieces of produce came from the same field and were destined for the same market as their more perfect counterparts, they ended up in the waste bin. No, they weren’t rotten, just simply not visually appealing enough to be sold.
This could be the most innovative and convenient way to reduce food waste to date. The creators behind this company are determined to prevent food from being wasted by bringing it to your dinner table.
Imperfect Produce is a startup that buys perfectly edible fresh fruits and vegetables from farms that would otherwise throw them away and sell them for cheap to customers based on a subscription service. A large box of mixed fruit and vegetables, containing up to 20 pounds of food is only $18 US. As of right now, delivery is only available to citizens of the San Francisco Bay Area, but hopefully this ingenious idea will soon spread.
This company is just one of the many ways entrepreneurs and environmentalists are battling food waste, hunger and climate change, which are becoming epidemics in many parts of the world.
Ben Simon, Ben Chesler and Ron Clark launched the Food Recovery Network in 2011 to recover leftover food from campus dining halls. They wanted to make a larger impact by reusing the six billion pounds of ugly produce (or as they like to say, cosmetically-challenged produce) that are thrown out by farms in the U.S.
Imperfect Produce allows consumers to buy wonky but delicious produce for a fraction of what supermarkets are charging. This is an unusual way to teach children and adults alike how unreasonable our standards for produce are. If you’ve ever grown a garden, you already know the incomparable taste of fresh produce, no matter the aesthetic. Hopefully, other countries can soon join America in eating more healthy and sustainable at a great price.